Conn Smythe is best known as the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As well, the prestigious National Hockey League MVP award the Conn Smythe Trophy, was introduced in 1964 to honour Conn Smythe. Originally the manager of the New York Rangers, he and several associates bought the “Toronto St. Pats” in 1927 before changing the name to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Maple Leaf Gardens was built largely owing to his efforts. Smythe served as Managing Director and President of Maple Leaf Gardens until 1961. During that time the Maple Leafs won five Stanley Cups.
In addition to his role with the Maple Leafs, Smythe was also notable for serving in both World Wars, winning the Military Cross twice in the first war, and organizing his own artillery battery in the Second World War where he was seriously injured. He was also a racehorse owner, winning the Queen’s Plate twice. In addition, he supported several
charities and founded the Conn Smythe Foundation as a focus for his philanthropic endeavours.
The Smythe Park and Recreation Centre located between Scarlett Road and Jane Street north of St. Clair Avenue, is located on the site of a gravel pit which he owned and operated. The surrounding neighbourhood is known as Rockcliffe-Smythe and includes a subdivision he built for war veterans.
Clara Isabella Harris (nee Perry) was born in King City, Ontario on October 13, 1887. She attended the Ontario College of Art (OCA). She also attended the Port Hope Summer School founded by John William Beatty, and was a student of George Agnew Reid, Manly MacDonald and William Cruikshank. During the First World War Clara studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Clara married Frederick W. Harris, a draughtsman and artist. They lived for many years in the west end of Toronto at 23 Valleyview Gardens, where Clara had her studio, sold her art, and conducted art classes. They were very active members of the Baby Point Club.
Clara followed the Group of Seven’s “plein-air” method of sketching and painting, and travelled and painted on location capturing the beauty of each season, never painting from post cards or slides. She carefully documented many of her paintings, including where and when the paintings were done, sometimes even the time of day. Many of these paintings are depictions of Southern Ontario that no longer exist, especially those of Toronto that have long since been paved over and developed. This historical record exists nowhere else.
She exhibited at various art shows including the Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of Water Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists May 7 – June 16, 1907; The Sixty-First Annual Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists March 1933; The Artists’ Annual Non-Jury Exhibition, Canadian National Exhibition Art Gallery, May 1-15, 1935; The 71st
Annual Spring Exhibition, Ontario Society of Artists, The Art Gallery of Toronto, March 5-29,1943. She exhibited her work at various art shows alongside but not limited to Arthur Lismer, A.J. Casson, A.Y. Jackson, Clarence Gagnon, Frank Panabaker, Homer Watson, Lawren Harris and Emily Carr. Her work was also exhibited at the Kaspar Gallery, October 1987, alongside that of Emily Carr, Paraskeva Clark, Kathleen Daly, Dorothy Knowles, Kathleen Morris, Mary H. Reid and Anne Savage.
Dante De Monte was born in Toronto on May 6, 1926, on Symington Avenue. In later years he moved to Baby Point to raise his family. A long-time member of the Baby Point Club, Dante helped organize the annual Games Days. He was skilled in barbequing and his roast pigs and half steers soon became part of local lore at Club events.
After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, he obtained his B.A. at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Dante graduated from Osgoode Law School in 1955 and he practised law in Toronto for 40 years. He was active in Liberal politics, serving as Vice-President of the Toronto and District Liberal Association from 1963 to 1967. In 1967, he was elected Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Dovercourt — the first member of the Ontario legislature of Italian descent. His special interests were immigration, citizenship and labour and he was named labour critic for the Opposition. His support of, and advocacy for, of the Italian community in Toronto included service as Executive Vice-President of the Italian Immigrant Aid Society, and he was active in Famèe Furlane Society, which was formed to assist immigrants from the Friuli, from whence his parents had immigrated. He participated in the founding of the Famèe Furlane Club, now part of the Friuli Centre in Toronto’s west end. A consummate organizer and fundraiser, Dante served as President of the Michael Power/ St. Joseph’s Dads’ Club for eight years and successfully raised large funds for the school community, for which he was presented with a special award of appreciation from the Sisters of St. Joseph and Basilian Fathers in 1986. Dante was the refined and
enthusiastic host, convivial raconteur and lover of the family barbeque, the latter often including many neighbourhood kids. He adored his seven children and the memorable image of the De Monte brood piling in and out of Dante’s stylish 1966 Mustang has survived the test of time. He was a devoted husband and tirelessly supported his beloved wife Elvira as advisor and campaign manager throughout her long and distinguished career as Separate School Board Trustee and Chairman. He was also a man of the arts, lover of the ballet, opera and symphony (to which he introduced his children), a voracious reader and amateur military historian and an excellent cook. This was balanced by his love of sport. Dante was a devoted fan of the Toronto Argonauts, and held season’s tickets for decades, being a fixture at Argo games with his sons and nephews.
Canadian poet and editor, Raymond Holmes Souster, attended Humberside Collegiate and was educated at the University of Toronto. He also served four years in the Royal Canadian Air Force. A lifelong resident of Toronto, he worked as a banker for nearly 50 years.
Souster’s free verse poems capture the details of daily city life. He was the author of more than 50 volumes of poetry, including The Colour of the Times: Collected Poems (1964), which won the Governor General’s Award; Hanging In (1979), which won the City of Toronto Book Award; and Take Me Out to the Ballgame (2002). His Collected Poems was published in ten volumes between 1980 and 2004. He also published under the pen names Raymond Holmes and John Holmes.
A strong supporter of independent presses and experimental poetry, Souster was the founding editor for the literary journals Direction (1941–46), Contact (1952–54), and Combustion (1957–60) and the founding president of the League of Canadian Poets. His Contact Press first published, among others, Margaret Atwood and Michael
Ondaatje. Souster also edited the anthologies Poets 56: ten younger English- Canadians (1956) and New Wave Canada: The New Explosion in Canadian Poetry (1966).
His honours include the Centennial Medal, the Silver Jubilee Medal, and the President’s Medal at the University of Toronto, and he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Eugene Melnyk was born in Toronto and grew up in the Baby Point area of the city where the Melnyk family lived until about 1978. The businessman, sports franchise owner and philanthropist was a passionate hockey fan. Melnyk was owner, governor and chairman of the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators, the Belleville Senators of the American Hockey League and previously the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. He was founder and former chairman of Biovail Corp., and in recent years invested his entrepreneurial skills in other companies. Melnyk was also a successful horse racing breeder, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces. A generous philanthropist, he supported St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Help Us Help, CAN Fund, St. Michael’s College in Toronto (his alma mater), and Providence School in Barbados, where he was a full- time resident. Melnyk championed causes through the Ottawa Senators and Senators Foundation, an organization that invested more than $100 million to support local charities and community programs that help children and youth across Ottawa and Gatineau. He was lead donor in the creation of Anna House, a childcare facility in Belmont, New York, and Roger Nielson House, a paediatric palliative care facility in Ottawa. From 2014 to 2019, Melnyk was the honorary colonel of the No. 414 Squadron RCAF.
Endel Tulving and his wife, Ruth, along with their two daughters, Elo Ann and Linda, lived on Baby Point Crescent and were members of the Baby Point Club for many years. Endel donated the Baby Point Tulving Trophy, which later became the trophy for the Mens Doubles (1978-1990).
Dr. Tulving was a member of seven distinguished societies and received a number of awards. In 2006, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour.
Born in Estonia, in 1927, in 1944, he was sent to live in Germany, where he finished high school and worked as a teacher and interpreter for the U.S. army. He briefly studied medicine at Heidelberg University before he immigrated to Canada in 1949.
Tulving attended the University of Toronto where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. In 1956, he completed his PhD in experimental psychology at Harvard University. That same year, Dr. Tulving accepted a lectureship at the University of Toronto, where he would remain for the rest of his career. He served as Chair of the Department of Psychology from 1974 to 1980 and became a professor in 1985. In 1992, he retired from full-time work at the University of Toronto and took a position at the Rotman Research Institute as the first Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience until his retirement in 2010. By 2019, he held the titles of Professor
Emeritus at the University of Toronto and Visiting Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Robin McLeod and her husband, John Fauquier, were active members of the Baby Point Club when they resided on Baby Point Crescent. Dr. McLeod was at the forefront of training Canada’s future surgeons. She was a Professor at the University of Toronto and former president of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons, and she
developed innovative guidelines for general surgery and designed educational tools to teach evidence-based practice.
She was also the vice-president of Clinical Programs and Quality Initiatives at Cancer Care Ontario. At the helm of several important clinical trials, she had a profound influence on medical practice and knowledge translation in surgical education and care. Dr. McLeod was awarded the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada on November 22, 2019.
Jacqueline grew up on Baby Pont Road and attended Western University in London, ON. She is a Canadian equestrian rider who competes in individual and team dressage. In 2003, she and her mount, Gran Gesto, won a silver medal at the Pan America Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In addition to many international competitions, Jacqueline also represented Canada at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.